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Ban urges integrating environmental, social and economic aspects of development

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
UN Photo/Mark Garten
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Ban urges integrating environmental, social and economic aspects of development

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged governments to consider setting up a new global arrangement that integrates environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainable development, stressing the need to mobilize public support for an approach that guarantees the well-being of humanity while preserving the planet for future generations.

Presenting the report prepared by his High-level Panel on Global Sustainability to an informal plenary of the General Assembly, Mr. Ban said the team’s recommendations address three main topics – empowering people to make sustainable choices; working towards a sustainable economy; and strengthening institutional governance.

“The Panel’s vision is to eradicate poverty and reduce inequality, to make growth inclusive and production and consumption more sustainable, while combating climate change and respecting a range of other planetary boundaries,” Mr. Ban told the Assembly.

The 22-member panel, established by Mr. Ban in August 2010 to formulate a new blueprint for sustainable development and low-carbon prosperity, was co-chaired by former Finnish President Tarja Halonen and South African President Jacob Zuma.

The group’s final report, ‘Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing,’ which was formally launched in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on 30 January, contains 56 recommendations to put sustainable development into practice and to make it a part of mainstream economic policy as quickly as possible.

The Secretary-General highlighted the “nexus approach” of the report that underlines the fact that food, water and energy security are inextricably linked and must be pursued together.

He stressed that the recommendations that can be acted on immediately should be included in the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) to be held in Brazil in June.

Mr. Ban also noted that some of the recommendations relate to initiatives that he has already set in motion, including the Sustainable Energy for All initiative and a sustainable development strategy for the UN system. Others will be included in a new sustainable development index or set of indicators for sustainable development goals, he added.

“I also see the value of a periodic global sustainable development outlook report, and I will explore the modalities, including the availability of resources, for such an important and ambitious undertaking,” he said.

He promised to strengthen ties between the global scientific community and the UN so that science occupies the central place in policy-making.

“We need everyone to work together to create a future worth choosing, the future we want,” he added.